CENTCOM chief in Saudi Arabia to meet top military general as violence engulfs region

The top US military general for the Middle East met with Saudi Arabia’s Chief of General Staff, Gen. Fayyad Al-Ruwaili, on Wednesday to discuss deepening military and defense ties, the Saudi Ministry of Defense said.

United States Central Command (CENTCOM) chief Gen. Erik Kurilla visited the Kingdom, where they discussed bilateral relations as well as the prospects for cooperation in various fields, a statement from the Saudi ministry said.

Heightened tensions in the Middle East have raised concerns and fears over an all-out conflict in the region. Already, clashes are taking place in Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza and Israel.

The outbreak in violence came after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel. Since then, Israel has pounded Gaza for over 100 days and reduced it to rubble.

Most recently, three American soldiers were killed and dozens more wounded after an Iran-backed militia targeted a US base in Jordan last weekend.

Wednesday’s meeting between the senior military officials comes after last month’s call between Gen. Al-Ruwaili and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. CQ Brown. They discussed the current security situation in the Middle East and the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea.

The Pentagon says that the Houthis have attacked or threatened international and commercial shipping, as well as naval vessels, 37 times since Nov. 19, 2023. The Houthis say they are targeting ships going to and from Israel. But they have targeted commercial vessels that have nothing to do with Israel as well as US and British warships in the region.

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